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Full text of "ModernGermanLiterature18801950"

370                    MODERN   GERMAN  LITERATURE

Die Maschinensturmer, etc.), the revolt against the reduction of man
to a cog in a machine; his last stage is reached in Winckler's tale
as 'der physiologische MenscV or living robot who can be pulped
down when exhausted. Winckler, a dentist by profession, had
founded a futurist community, Band der Werkkute aufHaus Ny/and,
so called because they met at his ancestral home Haus Nyland;
they aimed at a "new nobility of labour' and a synthesis of imperial-
ism, culture, industry, art, modern economic life, and freedom.
Disciples of Dehmel, they had their own organ v&Quadriga. Winck-
ler achieved popularity with Der folk Bomberg (1923), a weltering
collection of anecdotes which are alleged to have gathered round
the person of Baron von Bomberg, "the Westphalian EulenspiegeP;
if there is a purpose in the book it must be to snatch the mask
from everything that is ideal to expose the dirt beneath it; it is the
filthy humour which has delighted the German public. Pumper-
nickel (1926) manages to be popular without wallowing in filth.
The Werkkute aufHaus Nylandmz&t a splash in poetry; Winckler's
Eiserne Sonette (1912 mQuadriga, 1914 in book form) have a vigor-
ous but brutal ring.

The most noted of the poets of expressionism is FRANZ WERFEL
(1890-1945), a Jew from Prague. The very titles of his collections
of poems indicate their tendency: Der Weltfreund (1911), Wir sind
(1913), Einander (1915); Der Gerichtstag (1919). There is anti-war
feeling in this lyric verse; Troerinnen (1914), his adaptation of the
Trojan Women of Euripides, shows by implication the utter sense-
lessness of the First Great War; all the post-War disillusionment
is here, but also the lesson that duty bids us cling to life when all
seems lost, and that to be good is better than to be happy. Der
Spiegelmensch (1920) is a trilogy of rhymed dramas, the action of
which portrays the conflict between man's two souls: the Seins-Ich
and the Schein-Ich or Spiegel-Ich. The latter steps out ,of the mirror
and confronts the hero, Thamal. While Seins-Ich is consumed by
yearning for absolute reality, Schein-Ich lures to the enjoyment of
mirror-reality, i.e. that unreality which is the vain self-enjoyment
of man; harmony can only be attained by the persistent fighting
down into annihilation of the Spiegelmensch, that is, of one's own
selfish self. The drama is planned on a grandiose scale as a modern
Faust (Schein-Ich is another version of Mephistopheles), but there
is rather an acrobatic leaping over abysses than a descent into dark
deeps. WerfePs tale Nicht der Morder, der Ermordete ist schuldig